Student Playwrights get to Shine in Staged Readings
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 14:10
Thinking of theater arts, it is usually the cast and crew of a production that come to mind. These are the people onstage and backstage of every play and musical, but what about the person behind the script?
Actors and tech crewmembers have many opportunities for growth and development in college theater companies, but playwrights cannot quite claim the same. Their chances to improve and better themselves are not as bountiful as their actor counterparts, and this is something that the student-led newfangled theatre company is seeking to remedy with an upcoming event.
“In the theatre department there are lots of opportunities for people who want to act, people who want to design, but people who want to see their own works performed don’t get those opportunities on the main stage and so to have the second small season, it’s a great opportunity to allow some of those people to display their work,” newfangled theatre company chair Clare Geinert said.
Newfangled’s Night of Staged Readings (billed as the Play Reading Event) is set to showcase two student-penned productions this Friday and Saturday. Senior English major Nick LeDoux and junior English major Alex Stoks have each prepared a respective show which will be acted out by their fellow company members.
LeDoux’s “Heart Made of Clay” puts two strangers—a murderer and the man whose house he breaks into— in a scenario like that of a psychological thriller. Stoks’ Western comedy “Plainfield” allows for double casting with its large cast number, as well as a couple other intriguing elements such as sound design.
Throwing these two scripts together in a night of staged readings was made possible by the production board of newfangled. Before the fall semester, voting took place to decide what events to include in newfangled’s season. LeDoux’s and Stoks’ script submissions received similar amounts of votes, so a command decision was made.
“We decided as a board that instead of trying to produce just one of the scripts as a fully realized production and then leaving one person out, we would just cut them both down and do them both as staged readings to give both of the playwrights opportunities,” Geinert said.
This opportunity to shine as playwrights is what the Night of Staged Readings is all about. Playwriting is not as common a craft as acting or design, so a chance like this is solid gold for newfangled’s student playwrights.
“This event is not about the actors, it’s not about the directors,” Geinert said. “It’s really about the playwrights, so I feel really proud of the fact that we’re able to give them that opportunity.”
Showcasing these scripts also gives fellow Bison a chance to see for themselves the fruit of their counterparts’ labors. With a show by students, for students, everybody in attendance will glean something from the night, whether playwright or playgoer.
“It’s just a great opportunity to see what other students on campus are doing,” Geinert said. “It’s just so rare that we get to see things that are produced entirely by students who just want to be creative and who want to see their work displayed and want to share it with other people.”
Newfangled theatre company’s Night of Staged Readings (Play Reading Event) is Nov. 1 and 2 in the Walsh Studio Theatre. Admission is free and open to the public but a freewill donation is encouraged.